A Profile of Eileen McMorrow
Chronicling the Evolution of the Facility Management Industry
Editor In Chief
The McMorrow Reports
The facility management evolution began in the 1980s when the office environment gained recognition for its impact on productivity, campuses evolved to meet student needs and computers, and patient-focused care changed hospitals. Commercial interior design and facility management was served by monthly print publications. Today, the FM pace is faster and the industry keeps up with digital reporting from Eileen McMorrow and her team at The McMorrow Reports, and FMLink which address critical facility management topics.
“We report for professionals who manage the workplace, educational environment or public space after the architects and designers leave,” said Eileen, who launched The McMorrow Reports in the early 2000s with 400 email addresses and now has more than 70,000 newsletter subscribers. The website and newsletters report on facilities market segments defined by commercial/corporate, education, healthcare, and government.
Topics include corporate workplace planning and strategies, campus design and planning, commercial real estate management, emergency preparedness, preventive maintenance, and sustainability along with leadership skills, FM training, indoor air quality, and the proliferation of FM software tools.
The McMorrow Reports took a leap in January 2021 and acquired an excellent competitor digital magazine, FMLink, the industry’s very first FM website. Its 30,000 pages of facility management historical content amassed over 25 years, receives 300,000+ unique visitors per year.
Combined, the industry has a chronicle of the industry with two FM websites that produce seven newsletters a month plus the monthly newsletter of the Association for Facilities Engineering (AFE).
Eileen started in New York as a junior editor on a commercial interior design publication then transitioned to editorial roles on the leading FM magazine. At the time, offices were filled with cubicles, which offered little in the way of privacy, efficient acoustics, or places to meet other than formal conference rooms, but were a step up from the linear rows of desks we recalled from movie scenes of the 1940s through 60s.
Early on, Eileen secured workplace profiles of major companies like IBM, Chrysler, and Citibank.
“The workplace became far more dominant in our professional lives,” said Eileen. “We wanted to show facility managers how other companies, college campuses and hospitals were creating more productive workplaces for their employees. The interviews discussed how FMs partnered with senior executives and created five-year plans for leased or owned workspaces.”
It used to be that facilities managers were strictly behind-the-scenes participants in built environments. Now, CEOs and VPs of Finance know their FM. The editors convey the evolving role of FMs, their projects and responsibilities.
Eileen and her husband Michael Walsh, who is the publisher of The McMorrow Reports & FMLink are seen together attending industry conferences and trade shows. They enjoy running a family business which includes working with a great team of freelancers who also have been in the industry for decades and bring their talents to the brands. Publishing cycles are demanding, but they get away to Ireland with their sons to visit Michael’s family and seamlessly keep working just five hours ahead.
Walking her Australian Shepherd, chatting with her two sons in college, fitting in a yoga stretch, and chilling with the neighbors in suburban New Jersey, often while Michael is cooking a fabulous dinner, provides respite from the content chase.
Two journalism professors from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) encouraged Eileen to pursue the profession, but they were surprised she opted into business journalism with trade magazines. “However, they also were impressed by my earnings in my twenties, that I lived in New York and had the opportunity to travel widely throughout the U.S., and sometimes to Europe.”
She was mentored by senior editors and publishers at the media company, especially Anne Fallucchi, the founder and editor-in-chief of FACILITIES Design & Management magazine. Anne gave Eileen enormous exposure to IFMA, CoreNet, NeoCon, Healthcare Design, and other industry conferences where facilities managers were developing the profession in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
When Anne retired in 1994, Eileen was well-prepared to take over as the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, where she served until it was closed in 2004. She then went digital starting The McMorrow Reports Facility Management & Design Insights.
Eileen also is the founder and director of the Best of NeoCon product competition in which FMs, architects, and interior designers judge new products designed for commercial interiors. Now, in its 32nd year, the competition is run by NeoCon/THE MART in Chicago. The Nightingale Awards program at the Healthcare Design Conference + Expo is also in her domain.
A news junkie, she keeps up with the world while she is online—a perquisite of publishing two websites, five newsletters and various industry projects that are all digital. She prides herself on taking the New York Times news quiz every Sunday, usually getting 9 out of 10 correct.
She’s also a political scientist and would be solving problems and serving constituents in some capacity if she wasn’t in the FM publishing arena. At one point, she took a break from FM journalism and studied the European Union at the University of Limerick in Ireland, earning an MA in European Integration. Her alter ego is on a congressional committee or strategizing in the European Parliament.
For women seeking careers in facility management, Eileen offers these suggestions:
“If you are a woman in FM, attend meetings of any facility management or commercial real estate organization and become an active member—volunteers are always needed. Ask your suppliers where their clients are networking or if they participate in sponsoring any FM meetings or conferences where you could meet others in roles like yours,” she advises.
Also serving as a member of the ProFM Credential Commission, she suggests women explore earning an FM professional credential that proves they have mastered FM skills. “There are several industry credentials, like the ProFM, where you can ask your manager to provide for training support while you study solo or with a team,” she said.
Eileen also mentions attending related conferences such as NeoCon, NFMT and World Workplace, where facilities managers, engineers, interior architects and designers gather to specify all the commercial interior products for workplaces, educational and healthcare institutions.
“Learn the financial and business management language of your firm or organization's most senior management. Find out what they really want to know about building performance and actual usage, energy management and sustainability. Read now on ESG and become an expert, offering tips on how your company, institution or hospital is meeting ESG requirements,” she concluded.